On August 12, 2019, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), an agency of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), published an advance copy of the final rule on inadmissibility on public charge grounds.  The final rule will be effective 60 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register. According to the notice, applications and petitions already pending with USCIS on the effective date of the rule will not be subject to the new rule.  The final rule will be published in the Federal Register on August 14, 2019.  This Legal Update provides background on and details of the rule and notes its potential impact and likely response to the rule.  Continue reading here.

On Thursday, August 8, 2019, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that it will hold a public workshop on September 23 to discuss “the role of antitrust enforcement in labor markets and promoting robust competition for the American worker.”  This workshop marks another step in the government’s ongoing efforts to address what it sees as competition concerns in practices affecting employee recruiting, hiring, and compensation.  This Legal Update summarizes other actions that the DOJ Antitrust Division and state governments have taken in this area and discusses what the workshop should reveal and which legal issues will remain after the workshop concludes.  Continue reading here.

On July 24, 2019, Boris Johnson became Prime Minister of the Kingdom.  Mr. Johnson has said that if a withdrawal agreement is not concluded between the UK and the European Union (“EU”) by October 31, 2019, the UK will leave the EU without a deal.  Mayer Brown’s Chris Chapman, partner in the Litigation & Dispute Resolution practice in London, provides an update on the current Brexit situation, following the election of Boris Johnson.  He also discusses how a no-deal Brexit may affect financial services, customs and tariffs, and the Irish border.  Read the article here.

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) has planned a series of nationwide raids this weekend to detain and remove thousands of undocumented immigrants, according to multiple national media reports. ICE officials have confirmed that agents will target at least 2,000 undocumented immigrants in at least 10 US cities for removal. In our Legal Update, we provide background and a checklist to assist employers in identifying key factors related to the risk profiles for worksite enforcement.  Read the Legal Update here.

Given the opposition of the former Judiciary Committee chair, Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA), who had blocked a similar bill in 2011, the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2019 (S. 386) had been given little chance of passage until this week, when a deal was reached with the bill’s sponsor, Senator Mike Lee (R-UT), to include language to address a number of Senator Grassley’s longstanding concerns with the H-1B visa program.  This Legal Update provides background, details of the new H-1B measures, and information on a companion House bill.

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On May 31, 2019, the US Department of State (“DOS” or “Department”) updated its visa application forms to require persons seeking US visas to disclose their social media identifiers.  The DOS defines “identifier” to include any name used on a social media platform like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.  The Department’s FAQs state that the information will be used to strengthen the process for vetting applicants and confirming their identity.  The FAQs further state that applicants’ social media information will be protected by the same confidentiality guarantees and safeguards that protect other personal information disclosed in the visa application process, and the Department has stated that social media information will not be used to profile individuals by race or religion.

Last Thursday, President Trump unveiled an immigration plan that prioritizes skilled workers entering the United States and introduces a new “Build America” visa based on a points-based system.  Law360 spoke to Mayer Brown’s Elizabeth Espin Stern and Paul Virtue about the potential impact of the plan, including whether raising the bar for what constitutes a skilled worker might reduce the overall number of skilled workers admitted into the United States. Read the article here.

Continue Reading Elizabeth Stern and Paul Virtue Offer Commentary on New Immigration Plan

President Trump unveiled his plan to “transform” the US immigration system, during a speech given at the White House on May 16, 2019. He emphasized two goals for his plan: “First, it stops illegal immigration and fully secures the border.  And, second, it establishes a new legal immigration system that protects American wages, promotes American values, and attracts the best and brightest from all around the world.” In his remarks, he addressed legal immigration, including the path to permanent residency: “We will replace the existing green card categories with a new visa, the Build America visa,” to be based on a points-based selection system. Read the speech here.

Mayer Brown’s DC-based litigation team secured a victory when The Middle District of North Carolina issued a nationwide injunction barring the government from applying a 2018 policy memorandum released by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services, which purported to fundamentally alter how “unlawful presence” is calculated for the more than a million people present in the US on F, J, and M visas. This includes virtually all of the nation’s international students as well as recent graduates working at American companies. The Trump administration policy would have backdated “unlawful presence” calculations, which would have caused tens of thousands of individuals to be barred from reentering the country for periods of three and 10 years due to technical violations. A consortium of colleges and universities retained Mayer Brown to devise a strategy to oppose this action. The team included partner Paul Hughes, who argued the motion, and partner Michael Kimberly and associate Andrew Lyons-Berg, who assisted with briefs.